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Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Why Measuring Black Hole Masses is Essential for Understanding the Circumgalactic Medium
Ben Oppenheimer, Research Associate, University of Colorado,

Ripped straight from the headlines of the award of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, I will begin by discussing the potential connection between a galaxy's central supermassive black hole (SMBH) and its gaseous halo, the circumgalactic medium.  Cosmological simulations predict a direct connection between these dramatically different scales, which causally arises from the integrated history of SMBH feedback expelling gas beyond the virial radius.  While observing this connection is currently challenging, I will discuss the potential of observing hot gaseous halos in X-rays around Milky Way-mass galaxies.  I plan to continue discussing Milky Way-mass halos as observed through via UV absorption line signatures, including changes with redshift from z=3 to today.

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For more information, please contact Mansi Kasliwal by email at mansi@astro.caltech.edu or visit https://www.astro.caltech.edu/.